man wearing icemule boss backpack cooler at golden hour with sunburst shining through closure

What if you could carry all your food and drinks hands-free on your adventures? Better yet, what if you could keep everything ice-cold for 24 hours (or even longer)?

We all know that food and drinks are a must on adventures – especially with kids. But, if youʻve ever struggled to lug a traditional hard-sided cooler down more than three feet from your car, youʻve probably muttered a few things under your breath while wishing for a better option.

The best news? There IS a better option. ICEMULE Coolers responded to the call for a more portable cooler with their durable soft-sided, backpack-style coolers. 

In this ICEMULE Cooler Review, weʻll dig into all the details you need to know about ICEMULE coolers, including features unique to ICEMULE, such as the patented IM AirValve and leakproof roll-top design, to help you decide if they live up to the hype.

boy wearing icemule jaunt backpack stands on top of driftwood at the oregon coast

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I (The Stoke Fam) earn from qualifying purchases. Read more. We encourage you to follow all state and federal guidelines during your adventures. As status continues to change, we suggest you double-check to ensure destinations are open and have the amenities you need prior to heading out.

ICEMULE Coolers sponsored this post. However, as always, all content and opinions are our own.

Which ICEMULE Cooler is best? 

Honestly, it depends on your particular situation and specific needs. If you simply need a small cooler to keep beverages cold while you paddleboard? We suggest the Jaunt

Want something to carry dinner and drinks for the entire family and stay cold all day? We recommend the ICEMULE Pro.

And if youʻre looking for a comfortable cooler that can keep your food and drinks cold for multiple days, you want the ICEMULE BOSS

If youʻre in a hurry, hereʻs a quick breakdown of these three coolers from ICEMULE. But if you have a little more time, keep reading for a more detailed review of the different models. 

Great for Kids
Large Capacity
Best Ice Retention
Highlights:
  • Best for short outings, kids, paddleboarding
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External zipper pocket
Highlights:
  • Best for adventures up to 24 hours or family beach days
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External bungee cords for extra gear
Highlights:
  • Best for multi-day adventures, camping trips, or extreme heat.
  • Ice retention for multiple days
  • 3 Waterproof external pockets
$79.95 - $99.95
$129.95 - $149.95
$349.95
Great for Kids
Highlights:
  • Best for short outings, kids, paddleboarding
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External zipper pocket
$79.95 - $99.95
Large Capacity
Highlights:
  • Best for adventures up to 24 hours or family beach days
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External bungee cords for extra gear
$129.95 - $149.95
Best Ice Retention
Highlights:
  • Best for multi-day adventures, camping trips, or extreme heat.
  • Ice retention for multiple days
  • 3 Waterproof external pockets
$349.95

Overview and Unique Features of ICEMULE Coolers

Though traditional hard coolers have their place, they arenʻt exactly easy to carry or very portable. I know I certainly wonʻt be taking one on a hike. 😅

The idea for ICEMULE Coolers was actually born when the founder simply wanted a way to have cold drinks and food on a hike with friends. After a make-shift cooler failed, he devised the concept for ICEMULE.

What Makes ICEMULE Coolers different?

Weʻve had the opportunity to test out three different versions of backpack coolers from ICEMULE – the Jaunt, the Pro, and the BOSS. Below, weʻll get into the details of each unique version, but here are some of the features they all have in common. 

Portable and Comfortable

ICEMULE Coolers are designed to be both portable and comfortable. Unlike some wearable coolers that simply have straps attached, these coolers are strategically designed to be as comfortable as your favorite backpack. Because of this, they are much easier to carry on any adventure – beach days, hiking, paddleboarding, and more. 

Soft-Sided

In addition, because they are soft coolers, many of ICEMULEʻs designs can be folded or rolled up for storage saving you valuable storage space. For example, the ICEMULE Jaunt, Classic, and Pro all work well for this. 

We find the ease of storing to be especially convenient when weʻre on a trip in our camper. We can easily place an ICEMULE cooler in one of our storage compartments, then pull it out to fill with drinks and food from our Dometic fridge for day trips.

Waterproof

ICEMULE Coolers are constructed similar to a dry bag, with a roll-top closure that clips into place to create a watertight seal. They use rugged exterior fabrics to increase durability and protect against the elements.

Design and Innovation

In addition to all the features above, there are two more features unique to ICEMULE that we love.

High-quality insulation layers 

Each model uses insulation layers to deliver high-performance ice retention. For example, the Pro uses their PolarLayer Insulation to keep things cool for 24+ hours, while the BOSS is equipped with a unique insulation design to keep food and drink cold for multiple days. 

IM AirValve

In addition to the high-performance layers of insulation, ICEMULE Coolers also have the creative IM AirValve. This feature allows you to add extra air to the insulating layer, increasing the capability of the insulation.  

And if youʻre wondering, “do ICEMULE Coolers float,” the answer is yes! Because of this unique feature, as long as you fill and close them properly, they will float, which is fantastic for summer water activities like SUP. 

man sits on large piece of driftwood at the beach looking out at the ocean with icemule jaunt backpack cooler beside him

ICEMULE Jaunt Cooler Review

First up in our ICEMULE Cooler review is the Jaunt. The Jaunt is ICEMULEʻs smallest Cooler with two traditional backpack straps (they also have a 10 L ICEMULE Classic Cooler with a single sling-style shoulder strap). 

But just because itʻs small doesnʻt mean itʻs lacking in features. Or function. Nope, this mini Cooler is mighty and packed with all the great features you want in a cooler backpack. 

ICEMULE Coolers Jaunt
$79.95 - $99.95

The ICEMULE Jaunt is small but mighty with all the essential features of a high-performing backpack cooler.

Highlights:
  • Best for short outings, kids, paddleboarding
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External zipper pocket
Pros:
  • Waterproof
  • Leakproof
  • Floats
  • Simple to use
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Lots of color options
Cons:
  • May not be large enough for some families or for food and drinks on a full-day adventure.
  • Is a little stiff to roll when new but softens up with use.
Available Sizes: 9L and 15L
Capacity: 9L holds 9 standard 12-oz cans; 15L holds 15 standard size 12-oz cans
Comfort:
5.0
Ice Retention & Insulation:
4.0
Portability:
5.0
Design & Function:
5.0
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Key Features & Details

Ice Retention and Insulation Value

The ICEMULE Jaunt uses their PolarLayer Insulation to keep food and drinks cold for over 24 hours. 

Comfort

Weʻve found the padded backpack straps on the Jaunt comfortable to wear, even for longer distances. In fact, our kids (10 and 12) can comfortably carry the Jaunt to the beach or even on short hikes. 🙌

Portability

Out of the three ICEMULE Coolers we tested, the Jaunt is hands down the most portable. When not in use, it folds or rolls into a small package and is easy to carry anywhere. 

As weʻve been testing this soft Cooler, I couldnʻt help but think how perfect it would have been on our last trip to Hawaii. Because of how small this Cooler can compress, I have no doubt it will become a permanent item on our packing list for plane travel.

Design & Function

We are highly impressed with the function of the ICEMULE Cooler at keeping drinks ice-cold, even in 90°F heat. While the roll-top is designed to keep things cold and water out, it also did an excellent job at keeping sand out of our food and drinks on a windy day at the beach. We also love that the Jaunt includes a front zipper pocket for extra dry storage. 

boy wearing icemule jaunt backpack cooler walks through dunes at oregon coast

Available Sizes and Cost

The ICEMULE Jaunt comes in two sizes, 15L and 9L. 

The 15 L measures 9” x 8.5” x 17” when closed and can hold up to 15 standard size 12-oz cans, 18 skinny 12-oz cans, or 4 750ml bottles plus ice. List price on ICEMULE is $99.95.

In contrast, the 9L measures 7” x 7.5” x 17” when closed and holds 9 standard size 12-oz cans, 12 skinny 12-oz cans, or 3 750ml bottles plus ice. List price on ICEMULE is $79.95.

two boys smiling, one sitting under open hatch of white subaru reaches into icemule pro backpack cooler while the other is standing nearby

ICEMULE Pro Cooler Review

Next up in our ICEMULE Cooler review lineup is the Pro. The ICEMULE Pro is a high-performance backpack cooler that is comfortable to carry. Itʻs premium insulation keeps your drinks and food icy cold for 24+ hours and with multiple capacity options, youʻll be sure to find a size that fits your needs.

ICEMULE Coolers Pro
$129.95 - $149.95

The ICEMULE Pro is a high-performance backpack cooler that is comfortable to carry and keeps your drinks and food icy cold for 24+ hours.

Highlights:
  • Best for adventures up to 24 hours or family beach days
  • Ice retention for 24+ hours
  • External bungee cords for extra gear
Pros:
  • Waterproof
  • Leakproof
  • Floats
  • Easy access to fill
  • Simple to use
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Lots of color options
  • Plenty of room for larger groups or full-day outings.
Cons:
  • Like other models, the roll-top closure feels a little stiff when new but softens with use.
  • For outings more than 24 hours, you might need more insulating power.
  • No front zipper pocket for extra dry storage.
  • Lacks hip belt for additional support for heavier loads or on longer hikes.
Available Sizes: Large (23L), X-Large (33L), and XX-Large (40L)
Capacity: Large, 18 standard 12-oz cans; X-Large, 24 standard 12-oz cans; XX-Large, 36 standard 12-oz cans
Comfort:
5.0
Ice Retention & Insulation:
4.5
Portability:
5.0
Design & Function:
4.0
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Key Features & Details

Ice Retention and Insulation Value

PolarLayer Insulation combined with adding air via the IM AirValve keeps things nice and cool for over 24 hours. In our testing, weʻve experienced minimal ice melt at 36 hours in external temps around 75-85° F.

Comfort

In addition to padded backpack straps, a sternum strap and ventilated back panels on the back of the bag make carrying comfortable even when fully loaded. We also found that being sure to add air to the insulation layer via the air valve increases the comfort level.

Portability

Unlike more bulky coolers, the backpack straps make the ICEMULE Pro easy to carry in any environment. Similar to the Jaunt, the Pro can pack flat, be folded, or roll for easy storage at home or in your car when not in use. 

Design & Function

The design and capacity of the ICEMULE Pro is ideal for larger groups or full-day outings, even in the summer heat. Durable MuleSkin fabric and welded seams mean this backpack cooler should last for years. While this model does not have a zipper pocket for extra dry storage, bungee cords on the front are convenient for holding a jacket or other soft items.

two boys sitting under open hatchback with snacks in hands and icemule pro backpack cooler in between them

Available Sizes and Cost

The ICEUMULE Pro comes in 3 different sizes – Large (23L), X-Large (33L), and XX-Large (40L). 

The Large measures 14” x 11” x 18” when closed and can hold up to 18 standard 12-oz cans or 5 750ml bottles plus ice. List price on ICEMULE is $129.95.

Going up one size, the X-Large measures 14” x 11” x 24” when closed and can hold up to 24 standard 12-oz cans or 5 750ml bottles plus ice.  List price on ICEMULE is $139.95.

For the largest capacity in the ICEMULE Pro lineup, the XX-Large measures 14” x 11” x 27” and can hold up to 36 standard 12-oz cans or 5 750 ml bottles plus ice.  List price on ICEMULE is $149.95.

bearded man hands drink out of icemule boss backpack cooler to someone off camera with sunset in the background

ICEMULE BOSS Review

If a premium hard-sided cooler and a hiking backpack had a baby, it would be the ICEMULE BOSS. The BOSS is the last model in our ICEMULE cooler review and is designed to keep things cold for multiple days and has many ergonomic features youʻre used to in a hiking pack. 

The ICEMULE BOSS™
$349.95

Made with rugged materials, designed to keep things icy cold for multiple days, and ergonomic features, the ICEMULE BOSS is one of the best soft-sided coolers on the market.

Highlights:
  • Best for multi-day adventures, camping trips, or extreme heat.
  • Ice retention for multiple days
  • 3 Waterproof external pockets
Pros:
  • Superior insulation with multiple days of ice retention
  • Waterproof
  • Leakproof
  • Floats
  • Simple to use
  • Hip belt disperses weight better than other models
  • Insulated, waterproof cargo pockets keep items like electronics safe and dry
  • Plenty of room for full-day outings
Cons:
  • Roll-top closure was the stiffest of the models we tested when new but has loosened up with use.
  • Heavier than other models
  • Bulkier to store than other models
  • Loading items is a bit more challenging due to extra insulation
  • Only one color choice
Available Sizes: 30L
Capacity: 24 standard 12-oz cans or 5 750ml bottles
Comfort:
5.0
Ice Retention & Insulation:
5.0
Portability:
4.5
Design & Function:
4.5
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Key Features & Details

Ice Retention and Insulation Value

The ICEMULE BOSS will keep your drinks and food cold for multiple days with itʻs Polar Layer XT insulation. Whether your goal is to keep food cold for days on a camping trip or simply have a cold beer at the end of a hike, the BOSS has your back with the performance of a hard cooler. We can attest to this firsthand. 

In fact, after a recent outing, my husband and I both thought the other had emptied the ice out of the cooler after putting our food and drinks back in the fridge. Instead, we had left the Cooler (unrolled!) in the garage with temps in the 70-80°F range. After an additional 48 hours, we still had ice with minimal melt! 

I knew this Cooler was a beast, but I wasnʻt expecting that level of performance. Obviously, thatʻs not the intended use, but I can confidently say that if you pack it correctly, this cooler wonʻt let you down. 

Comfort

In terms of comfort, this Cooler has a bit more structure and weight overall than the Jaunt and the Pro, which means that it doesnʻt mold to your body quite like other models. That said, ICEMULE has added features youʻd expect on a premium hiking backpack in an impressive ergonomic design. 

The shoulder straps are double-padded air mesh and thereʻs an adjustable stabilizer strap. But our favorite added feature for comfort is the adjustable hip belt with padded, air mesh hip pads. The hip belt allows your hips – as opposed to your shoulders – to carry most of the weight, making it significantly more comfortable on long adventures. 

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Portability

Becuase the BOSS is a backpack cooler like the majority of ICEMULEʻs lineup, itʻs extremely portable. The only downside we can see in this category is that you canʻt collapse this one flat or roll it. However, seeing as thatʻs due to the burly insulation layer that keeps ice cold for literal days, itʻs one we can live with.

Design & Function

I love all of the extra features that are included on the BOSS. Like all ICEMULE backpack coolers, the seams are welded and use a roll-top design, making it fully waterproof. It also uses the same IM AirValve for increased insulation, durable exterior, and top-loading design. 

But it has several additional features that truly make it the BOSS of backpack coolers. First is 3 waterproof, insulated cargo pockets with waterproof zippers. In addition, you have molle webbing on both sides and industrial clip points on the bottom of the bag, making it easy to customize or attach additional items as needed.

My only complaint with this model is that loading the Cooler is a bit more challenging due to the thickness of the insulation. It makes the interior less flexible and more narrow than other models. This was not an issue when loading canned drinks or water bottles, but bulkier food items or containers can be a bit of a tight fit. That said, when loading a hard-sided cooler with zero flexibility, the challenge is even worse.

person pours ice into open top of icemule boss backpack cooler

Available Sizes and Cost

The ICEMULE BOSS comes in a single 30L size. When closed, it measures 12.5” x 9” x 25” and can hold 24 standard 12-oz cans or 5 750ml bottles plus ice.  List price on ICEMULE is $349.95.

BONUS: ICEMULE Clear Review

New to the ICEMULE Cooler lineup in 2022, the Clear is a backpack cooler unlike any other. Designed specifically for events and venues that require clear bags for entry, the Clear allows you to keep food and drinks cold for 5-7 hours.

I guess technically the addition of this to our list means we’ve tested four coolers, but in my head, I think of the Clear as a see-through Jaunt, so I’m still calling it 3 models. 😜

ICEMULE Coolers Clear

The Clear is the newest addition to the ICEMULE Coolers lineup and is designed for use in venues where clear bags are required.

Highlights:
  • Best for venues that allow food and drinks, but require clear bags for entry.
  • Ice retention for 5-7 hours.
  • Clear construction makes it easy to see contents.
Pros:
  • Unique clear design for events and venues
  • Waterproof
  • Leakproof
  • Floats
  • Simple to use
Cons:
  • Dimensions may be too large for some venues.
  • The Clear is the only model we tested where we noticed sweating on the outside of the cooler.
Available Sizes: 9L and 15L
Capacity: 9L holds 6-9 standard 12-oz cans; 15L holds 12-15 standard size 12-oz cans
Comfort:
4.5
Ice Retention & Insulation:
3.5
Portability:
5.0
Design & Function:
4.0
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Key Features & Details

Ice Retention & Insulation Value

In terms of ice retention, you’ll get several hours (up to 5-7) with the Clear, which was plenty of time to keep our drinks cool for an evening event or afternoon at the lake.

Unlike other models, we did experience some condensation accumulation and a bit of sweating on the exterior of the Clear in extremely hot (90°F and up) weather. I attribute this to the difference in the material on the Clear. However, it wasn’t significant enough to be a deal breaker – it was honestly a welcome cool down from the relentless heat.

Comfort

Like other models, the Clear has padded, adjustable backpack straps that are comfortable to wear for extended periods. The sizing makes it perfect for adults or older kids (ours are 10 and 12) to carry.

Portability

The portability of the Clear is neck and neck with the Jaunt. It’s extremely portable, takes up a small amount of space, and is a great size for travel.

Design & Function

In terms of design, we’ve never seen another cooler like the Clear! The ability to have cold drinks AND meet the requirements of many venues is a huge perk.

We have run into a situation where the 9L was still a little larger than allowed. However, in one instance, I did compress it down as far as it would go and was able to enter. That said, I do highly recommend you double-check the measurements against the requirements of the venues you frequently visit.

Available Sizes & Cost

The ICEMULE Clear comes in two sizes, 15L and 9L.

The 15 L measures 9″ x 8.5″ x 17″ when closed and can hold 12-15 standard size 12-oz cans, or 3-4 750 ml bottles plus ice.* List price on ICEMULE is $79.95.

The 9L measures 7″ x 7.5″ x 17″ when closed and can hold 6-9 standard size 12-oz cans or 2-3 750 ml bottles plus ice. List price on ICEMULE is $99.95.

*The Clear stands out from other models in the ICEMULE product line by using only air to insulate. Due to this, they recommend filling with the lower recommended number of cans or bottles and adding extra ice for maximum ice retention.

Frequently Asked Questions About ICEMULE Coolers

How Do ICEMULE Coolers Work?

ICEMULE Coolers keep food and drinks ice cold with their unique insulation layers, IM AirValve allowing you to add air to the insulating layer, and roll-top closure to create a watertight seal.

Do ICEMULE Coolers sweat? 

In our experience, no! ICEMULE Coolers do not sweat.

Do ICEMULE coolers float?

They sure do! As long as you close them properly and fill the insulating layer with air, they will float. 🙌

How do you use the Icemule Backpack Cooler?

ICEMULE recommends that you use a 2:1 ice-to-can ratio for their backpack coolers for the best performance and ice retention. Properly closing the bag and adding air via the IM AirValve will aid in ice retention.
 
Personally, weʻve found that these Artic Ice Tundra Series ice packs work perfectly for us to reduce mess and keep things cold. However, itʻs essential to note that this series is intended to create a “freezer-like” temperature in coolers, and if you place food directly on top of them, it might freeze. We place a layer of cardboard between the ice pack and any food or drinks we donʻt want to be frozen. Or, if weʻre craving a treat, weʻll take popsicles or ice cream and place it directly on the ice pack. 😋

How do I close my ICEMULE Cooler?

The best way to close an ICEMULE Cooler with a roll-top, youʻll fold the top 2-3 times towards the front of the bag, then pull the clips together on the back towards the straps.

Final Thoughts on ICEMULE Coolers

If youʻve ever dreamed of enjoying a cold drink at the top of a hike on a hot day or struggled to carry a giant hard-sided cooler more than a few feet from your car, an ICEMULE Cooler is the answer to your wishes.

After testing them out in various conditions, we believe they truly are worth the hype. ICEMULE Coolers are the best soft-sided backpack coolers weʻve found and we highly recommend these high-quality coolers to make your next adventure easier. 

Where to Buy ICEMULE Coolers

ICEMULE Coolers can be bought on the ICEMULE website as well at many outdoor retailers across the United States, including: 

You can also check the ICEMULE Store Locator or check with these other retailers in the Pacific Northwest:  

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